NHL Hockey Betting: Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Buffalo Sabres at Boston Bruins

Second half of a home and home series between the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins. Boston won the opening game of the set at Buffalo on Thursday and the Sabres will try to even things up as the teams battle at the TD Garden on Saturday. Boston is doing the dysfunctional home/away dichotomy that they do almost every season where they play well on the road but struggle at home. This year they’re 11-6-4 on the road but just 9-9-0 on their home ice. Buffalo is 6-6-5 on the road.

The Sabres will start Robin Lehner in net for this game. Lehner is 8-11-5 on the season with a 2.49 goals against average and a 0.922 save percentage. He’s taken over the starting goalie job though backup Anders Nilsson has better statistical numbers. He’ll be opposed by one of the best in the business in Boston’s Tuukka Rask. Rask is having a Vezina Trophy level season with a record of 18-7-3 to go with a 1.96 goals against average and a 0.927 save percentage with 4 shutouts. The Bruins are #8 in goals against per game but #24 in goals scored per game and for that reason Rask’s job has been tougher than many of his colleagues that have a more potent offense to help them win games. Given the Bruins’ lack of offensive support you can make a compelling case that Rask is the MVP so far. Hard to imagine where Boston would be without him.

Things might not be coming together for Buffalo as quickly as they have for Toronto now that the Leafs’ have Mike Babcock as head coach and Auston Matthews as their top line center. Still, there’s a lot of good things happening for the Sabres despite a current spate of injuries. Jack Eichel might not be the all around player that the guy selected immediately before him in the 2015 draft–a kid named ‘Connor McDavid’ that you may have heard of. Even so, he’s a player that will be a very dangerous goal scorer for a lot of years in the NHL–he’s a Mike Bossy type and that’s not a bad thing at all for a team to have to work with. The Sabres’ biggest immediate problem could be the absence of sparkplug Ryan O’Reilly who is sidelined ‘indefinitely’ following an emergency appendectomy.

Even with the Sabres injuries we’ll take Buffalo plus the price here.